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Agreement reached on these three conditions

- Wits University

Update from the Senior Executive Team (11:00) on agreement reached, academic programme and General Assembly:

We thank you for your commitment to the University and for working with us through this difficult period. 

Academic programme

The resumption and completion of the 2016 academic programme is a key priority for the University in the next few weeks. We are revising the academic calendar and developing a new examinations timetable. These plans will be discussed at a meeting of Senate before being circulated to the University community. 

Summary of agreement with students 

The three points agreed to with students (via mediators) are summarised below:

  1. The academic programme will resume on Monday, 10 October 2016. Students have committed to working with management to save the 2016 academic year.
  2. The police will be withdrawn from Wits’ campuses and will remain on the perimeter. We have the express commitment from all parties that there will be no violence or intimidation of students and staff, and that there will be no destruction of property.
  3. All stakeholders will work together towards holding a General Assembly on Friday, 7 October 2016. It will focus on obtaining a consensual position on the principle of access to higher education. 

There is much misinformation on social media and on other platforms about the terms of the agreement. 

While there are many other aspects to resolve, these are the only three conditions on which agreement have reached. 

A negotiated outcome is in the broader interests of all stakeholders. 

Racist remarks 

There are several individuals making racist and defamatory remarks on multiple platforms including at public gatherings and in the media. The University condemns all forms of hate speech and racism in any form. We find the comments by these individuals abhorrent and will investigate all complaints received in this regard. 

We are aware that many racist remarks were made this morning where participants in a march organised by a group of students called #TakeBackWits were confronted by some protesting students. The situation was managed by Campus Control. 

Voice clip 

We are aware of a voice clip that has been circulating on social media inciting violence against particular race groups. Please do not continue to share these clips. The information has been passed on to the Wits security and legal teams, as well as the police, and will be investigated. We are requesting anyone with further information about the source of the clip to share it with the Head of Security, Mr Mokgawa Kobe on (011) 717-1852 or the Legal Office. 

We will keep you updated via the University’s official communication channels on developments as they progress.